The Canterbury tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
F.N. Robinson

interpretacio nominis Cecilie quam ponit Frater Jacobus Januensis in legenda

First wolde I yow the name of seint cecilie
Expowne, as men may in hir storie see.
It is to seye in englissh hevenes lilie,
For pure chaastnesse of virginitee;
Or, ofr she whitnesse hadde of honestee,
And grene of conscience, and of good fame
The soote savour, lilie was hir name.
Or cecilie is to seye the wey to blynde,
For she ensample was by good techynge;
Or elles cecile, as I writen fynde,
Is joyned, by a manere conjoynynge
Of hevene and lia; and heere, in figurynge,
The hevene is set for thoght of hoolynesse,
And lia for hire lastynge bisynesse.
Cecile may eek be seyd in this manere,
Wantynge of blyndnesse, for hir grete light
Of sapience, and for hire thewes cleere;
Or elles, loo, this maydens name bright
Of hevene and leos comth, for which by right
Men myghte hire wel the hevene of peple calle,
Ensample of goode and wise werkes alle.
For leos peple in englissh is to seye,
And right as men may in the hevene see
The sonne and moone and sterres every weye,
Right so men goostly in this mayden free
Seyen of feith the magnanymytee,
And eek the cleernesse hool of sapience,
And sondry werkes, brighte of excellence.
And right so as thise philosophres write
That hevene is swift and round and eek brennynge,
Right so was faire cecilie the white
Ful swift and bisy evere in good werkynge,
And round and hool in good perseverynge,
And brennynge evere in charite ful brighte.
Now have I yow declared what she highte.